Alliance U Celebrates a Fall 2022 Beacon Campus Commencement

rejoicing

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”– Carl Bard

“Brand new” is a theme echoing throughout the corridors of Alliance University this year with the launch of a new name, a rebrand of the school logo, school colors and a renewed vision. Brand new is an AU reality even within the confines of an unlikely place for a fresh start.

graduating class resized 1Alliance University held its fall commencement ceremony at Fishkill Correctional Facility for new alumni who received academic degrees on Thursday, October 27 at the Beacon campus.

“Graduation ceremony dates vary from year to year. We haven’t had one since 2019 because of COVID,” explains Assistant Dean of the Fishkill Beacon campus, Mrs. Jamila Wright. Family members, AU administrators, faculty, special guests along with Fishkill and Department of Corrections and Community Supervision officials were part of this long awaited in-person celebration.

President Rajan Mathews presided over the commencement and was assisted by Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. David F. Turk. Acting Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Service, Anthony J. Annucci and Assemblyman for District 68, East Harlem, Edward Gibbs shared brief remarks.

This year’s commencement speaker was Dominique DuBois Gilliard, Director of Racial Righteousness and Reconciliation for Evangelical Covenant Church. He is the award-winning author of Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice that Restores, which won a 2018 Book of the Year Award from InterVarsity Press. It was also named the 2019 Social Issues Resource of the Year by Outreach Magazine. His latest published work is Subversive Witness: Scripture’s Call to Leverage Privilege, named the 2021 Book of the Year by Englewood Review of Books.

Fabian Romain
Fabian Romain

Fabian Romain, the valedictorian and summa cum laude alumnus, shared the student address. He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology and social work with a 3.91 GPA. All of the nearly 70 men, who began their studies as Nyack College students in cohorts from 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, were applauded for their phenomenal accomplishments. The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, the Bachelor Science in Organizational Management, or the Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences with honors of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude were conferred.

The Beacon campus is another example of the Alliance University commitment to provide all of its students access to a life-transforming education. To date, the AU prison education program has resulted in a 0% recidivism rate compared to the New York State rate of 40%. The success of this opportunity for second chances cannot be summed up better than in the words of a Fishkill student, who said when he is in an AU class, he “is not in prison.”

A brand new perspective is birthed one student at a time. “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”